Tucked inside the downtown Las Vegas mall, Fergusons Downtown is a colorful vintage store with a doormat that says “the gayest place in town.”
Inside the store, known as Neon Cactus Vintage, shoppers are greeted by co-owners and married couple Negar Hosseini-Nasab and Alicia Avery.
Unique and bold clothing and accessories envelop the space while abstract designs are painted on the ceiling. There are also handmade stained glass windows, made by Avery, lying around the shop.
“I think our colorful clothing in general is something people think of when they think of our store,” Hosseini-Nasab said. “Patterns, colors and textures are things we tend to pull off.”
Most of the clothes are sourced locally or donated to the boutique, which specializes in all-inclusive sizes. Hosseini-Nasab and Avery also donate clothing to other local centers and donation sites.
“We make sure that once they leave our store, they find another home…we’re really careful about where we source materials from,” Hosseini-Nasab said. “For example, Alicia does stained glass and she uses recycled glass to create pieces.”
Neon Cactus Vintage was originally operated as a pop-up shop by Las Vegas native Hosseini-Nasab until Avery joined the business to open its permanent location in December 2019.
Hosseini-Nasab grew up shopping second-hand “mainly out of necessity” and eventually developed a passion for it.
“The store is like our baby, and it’s just a really good way to get to know people in our community,” Hosseini-Nasab said. “We find these clothes with such a long history. And then we can connect them to their future homes and watch them create new stories and have new lives.
Eventually, the couple hope to hire more employees as the store continues to grow.
The couple also said their queer identity is very important to them and their customers, especially in June, which is Pride month. The city of Las Vegas celebrates Pride Month in October, due to the summer heat.
“We’re happy to have a space for (the) community to come and shop, and feel welcome and feel authentic,” Hosseini-Nasab said. “We have a lot of people in our queer community, and we’re happy they can see themselves reflected in our business.”
Avery said shopping at women-, minority- and gay-owned businesses helps increase representation and makes business owners feel supported.
“I think representation really matters,” Avery said. “I think for us to be represented, we have to be supported by our community. That’s what really wins. We can exist and sustain our business because our community supports us. And it’s huge.